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A toilet on the floor next to a dirty surface happened during holiday

Common Holiday Plumbing Disasters 

The holidays are a time for joy, family, and delicious food. But amidst the festivities, plumbing problems can lurk around the corner, threatening to turn a joyous occasion into a stressful mess.

Imagine a clogged drain overflowing with gravy, a toilet malfunctioning during a houseful of guests, or a burst pipe causing water damage during a get-together. These scenarios, while unpleasant, are all too common during the holiday season.

Culprits of Holiday Plumbing Chaos

Several factors contribute to the rise in plumbing issues during the holidays:

  • Increased Usage – With more people using your facilities, drains endure a heavier workload. Food scraps, grease, and hygiene products accumulate faster, increasing the risk of clogs.
  • Holiday Feasting – Holiday meals often involve a surge in cooking, leading to more grease and food waste entering the drains. This buildup can solidify and cause blockages.
  • Guest Mishaps – Unfamiliar guests may unintentionally flush items that don’t belong in toilets, like baby wipes or feminine hygiene products, leading to clogs and overflows.
  • Cold Weather – In colder climates, freezing temperatures can cause water pipes to burst, resulting in significant water damage and repair costs.

Top Holiday Plumbing Headaches: Prevention and Solutions

A hand in a rubber glove with a toilet brush in the toilet

As a homeowner, it’s important to know how to handle common plumbing issues. Here are some of the most common plumbing issues, along with their causes, solutions, and prevention strategies:

Clogged Drains

A clogged kitchen sink can be caused by pouring grease down the drain, leaving food scraps on plates, and not using drain traps. Bathroom drains can get clogged from hair and other non-degradable things getting stuck.

Solution: For minor clogs, you can use a plunger or a baking soda and vinegar solution to dislodge the blockage. For stubborn clogs, you can use a plumbing snake or call a professional plumber.

Prevention: To prevent clogged drains, avoid pouring grease down the drain, scrape food scraps off plates before washing dishes, and install drain traps in your kitchen sink and bathroom to catch debris. You can also regularly pour hot water down your drains to help dissolve buildup.

Garbage Disposal Issues

Garbage disposal issues can be caused by overloading the disposal, putting the wrong materials down it, and not using enough water to flush it out.

Solution: If your disposal jams, try resetting it using the button located underneath. If that fails, avoid using it further and ask a plumbing company near you.

Prevention: To prevent garbage disposal issues, avoid overloading the disposal, grind food scraps in small batches with plenty of cold water running, and avoid putting fibrous materials, grease, coffee grounds, or eggshells down the disposal, as they can clog the blades.

Clogged Toilets

A blocked or overflowing toilet can be caused by flushing the wrong items down the toilet, such as wipes and feminine hygiene products.

Solution: For minor clogs, a toilet plunger might be enough. However, for severe clogs or overflowing toilets, shut off the water supply valve behind the toilet and immediately call a plumber.

Prevention: To prevent clogged toilets, educate your guests about what can and cannot be flushed and invest in a small bathroom bin for disposable wipes and feminine hygiene products.

Leaking Faucets

A man fixing a sink with a wrench in hand.

Leaking faucets can be caused by a worn-out washer or a loose packing nut.

Solution: For persistent leaks or if you’re unsure about the repair, seek professional help from a plumber.

Prevention: To prevent leaking faucets, address dripping faucets promptly, tighten the packing nut or replace the washer if necessary.

Water Heater Woes

Water heater issues can be caused by lack of maintenance, such as not flushing the tank or checking the anode rod.

Solution: If your water heater malfunctions, contact a plumber immediately. A temporary solution might involve taking shorter showers or using cooler water until a professional can assess the problem.

Prevention: To prevent water heater issues, schedule a routine maintenance check for your water heater before the holiday season. This can identify potential issues and prevent breakdowns during peak usage times.

Septic Issues

Homeowners with septic systems can experience a variety of problems, such as backups and clogs caused by excessive water usage or flushing non-biodegradable items down the drain.

Solution: If you have a septic system, it’s best to call a professional septic expert for any issues. They can assess the problem and provide solutions specific to your septic system.

Prevention: To prevent septic issues, avoid excessive water usage and educate your guests about what can and cannot be flushed or put down the drain. Regular septic tank services can also help prevent issues.

Planning for a Plumbing Problem

No one wants to have a plumbing issue during the holidays, and you can’t really plan in advance. However, it’s wise to not only have some knowledge about what to do but also to have the right tools.

  • Know the location of your shut-off valves. In case of a major leak, you can quickly stop the water flow and minimize damage.
  • Invest in a plumbing snake. A handy tool for tackling minor drain clogs without resorting to a plumber.
  • Have a plumber on speed dial. Knowing a reliable plumber you can trust can save you time and hassle in case of an emergency.

In addition to being aware of common plumbing issues and how to handle them, there are also some preventative measures you can take to maintain your plumbing during the holiday season:

  • Spread out household chores to reduce strain on pipes and drains.
  • Keep a plunger in each bathroom for quick access in case of clogs.
  • Avoid pouring cooking oil or grease down the drain by disposing of it in a container or the trash.
  • Use mesh sink strainers to catch food scraps and hair before they enter the drain.
  • Dispose of leftover cooking grease properly by letting it cool, then disposing of it in a sealed container.
  • Educate guests about what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet.
  • Regularly check for leaks and address them promptly to prevent water damage.
  • Monitor your water usage during the holiday season and limit excessive use of appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, to avoid overloading your plumbing system.

Stronghold Plumbing & Septic

Keep your plumbing system healthy and functioning smoothly with regular inspections and dedicated plumbing services from the best Lakeland plumbing companyStronghold Plumbing & Septic. We are your Florida plumbing experts, committed to providing fast, reliable service whenever you need us.

Contact us today and ask about our free plumbing estimates.

FAQ’s – Holiday Plumbing

What should I do if I have a plumbing problem during a holiday?

If you experience a plumbing issue during a holiday, it’s best to shut off the water supply, if possible, and contact a professional plumber for assistance.

How can I prevent clogged drains during holiday gatherings?

To prevent clogged drains, avoid pouring grease down the drain, scrape food scraps off plates before washing dishes, and install drain traps in your kitchen sink and shower to catch debris.

How often should I schedule a professional plumbing inspection?

We recommend scheduling a plumbing inspection at least once a year, preferably before the holiday season, to catch any potential issues and prevent breakdowns during peak usage times.

Can I use store-bought drain cleaners for clogged drains?

It’s best to avoid using store-bought drain cleaners as they can be harmful to your plumbing system and the environment. Instead, consider using natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar or calling a professional plumber for safe and effective drain cleaning. 

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